Manchester United went into this season under new management for the first time in their history. Marc Skinner’s appointment followed Casey Stoney’s resignation towards the end of the 2020/21 season.
It was a disastrous start for the Red Devils, who conceded after just two minutes of play at Leigh Sports Village and found themselves three down at half-time. The game represented a first real test for Skinner’s side – after wins over Reading Women and Leicester City Women.
Chelsea Women Show Distance Between Manchester United Women and the Top of the FA Women’s Super League
Champions Chelsea Women Thrash Manchester United Women
Emma Hayes’ side ruthlessly put Manchester United to bed on Sunday afternoon, showing themselves a class apart.
Last season’s league winners and Champions League runners-up, Chelsea are the best of the best that Manchester United could face right now and that was very much proven on the pitch.
After a good start, targeting Champions League qualification, it was hard to know where the ceiling was for Marc Skinner’s side, however that has become a quite a bit clearer today.
They are sure to bounce back from this but it sets the expectation that they might just fall short against the Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City Women of the FA Women’s Super League this year – which isn’t ideal as the top three secure European qualification.
United are still a young side, still growing together and with numerous additions in the summer and a managerial change, probably not making their progress any faster. Though, year on year, they are getting there and this result is unlikely to defer the belief Skinner, the players and the fans have in eventually reaching the top.
The defensive errors made v Chelsea can only provide a learning curve for the next big game – something to avoid.
Pernille Harder With a Delightful Goal for Chelsea
Chelsea forward Pernille Harder, who was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2019/20, scored an excellent goal to put Chelsea 2-0 up. She drove through the Manchester United defence, never losing control of the ball and put the icing on the cake with a supreme finish past England and United keeper Mary Earps.
Alessia Russo Shows Her Talent
Manchester United forward Alessia Russo got herself back in the goals after being sidelined for the remainder of last season. She showed her talent before that injury and her and Tobin Heath’s absence were costly for United – who missed out on the Champions League places by a single point.
She kept herself onside and in an excellent position, though needed some luck with the finish as it deflected of England defender Millie Bright and into the back of the net.
However, things just got worse for Manchester United after that moment of hope, with Sam Kerr scoring a goal that, if VAR was implemented, would have been disallowed for offside.
Russo was a shining light for United, though, hitting the bar later on in the game. Marc Skinner has often been using Ella Toone as the first choice in the middle but Russo’s performance may force him to have a rethink.
Manchester United technical director Darren Fletcher and football director John Murtough were in attendance, as was England Women manager Sarina Wiegman.
Manchester United: Alessia Russo
Chelsea: Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr (x2), Drew Spence & Jessie Fleming
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